Footloose and Starsky & Hutch actress Lynne Marta dies, aged 78

17 January 2024, 10:53

Lynne Marta
Lynne Marta. Picture: Getty Images

By Mayer Nissim

The actor passes away just weeks after her co-star and ex-partner David Soul.

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Actress and singer Lynne Marta has died at the age of 78.

Lynne died at her Los Angeles home from brain cancer, her friend Chris Saint-Hilaire told The Hollywood Reporter.

Born in Somerville, New Jersey in 1945, Lynne's first screen role came in TV comedy Gidget in 1966.

She was then a regular on The Lloyd Thaxton Show and Love, American Style, the anthology series that later spun off Happy Days.

Across a four-decade career, she became a regular guest star across countless TV shows, often returning as different characters on the same shows.

Lynne Marta and David Soul in Starsky & Hutch episode 'The Bait'
Lynne Marta and David Soul in Starsky & Hutch episode 'The Bait'. Picture: Getty Images

Her drama credits include ER; Caroline in the City. Gunsmoke, Law & Order, Charlie's Angels. Kojak and CHiPs, among others, as well as spots in soaps like The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives.

Lynne played three different characters in episodes of Starsky & Hutch and was reported to have lived together in an open relationship during that time with its lead David Soul, who himself passed away just weeks ago.

While she was best known for her TV work, Lynne, also appeared in feature films, most notably as Lulu Warnicker in 1984 musical Footloose.

David Soul in concerto con Marta Lynne -- Burt Sugarman

Tragically, Lynne was an earwitness to the brutal murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by crazed fan and stalker Robert John Bardo in 1989 and testified at his trial.

"The door shook, the wall shook,” Los Angeles Times quoted her testimony at the time. "The cat went up into the air. I fell to my knees and crawled into the bedroom. Then, I heard Rebecca’s first scream.

"She was still screaming while I was talking to 911. By the time I got to the door, she was wailing. I opened the small hatch in my door. There was a smell I'll never forget: the smell of gunfire. It was quiet except for light moaning."

Bardo is currently serving a life sentence without parole.

Lynne is survived by her sister MJ.